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Teacher tells students: 'You're not special'

Posted by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM
  • 35 Replies

Ah, high school graduation. Few days stand out as proud reminders of the hope and promise of youth than commencement day. It's usually a time for keynote speakers to instill supreme confidence and triumphant messages in the young minds of today, the leaders of tomorrow.

Sure, a little perspective is necessary, but the straight talk a teacher delivered Friday to the class of 2012 at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts is getting a lot of attention for its buzz-killing reality.

Wellesley English teacher David McCullough Jr. lauded the students for their individual accomplishments that brought them to graduation, pointing out that their gowns were exactly the same and that their diplomas are exactly the same.

“All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special,” he was quoted as saying in the Boston Herald.

Wait, what?

“You are not special. You are not exceptional,” he continued. “Contrary to what your U-9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh-grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.”

Think that's tough love? McCollough, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough Sr., tore into any sense of entitlement or privilege the kids had managed to hold on to up to that point.

“Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again,” he said.

Wow, talk about mood-killers. How about this dagger? “Think about this: Even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.”

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 8, 2012 at 9:12 PM
Wow, totally wrong. Wanna bet it was true though.
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Coastiesgirl
by Bronze Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Was he retiring this year or something? Maybe these were all the thing he's wanted to say for years...
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silvercrow
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:14 PM
6 moms liked this

its the damn truth and its about time someone said it

periwinkle163
by Bronze Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

 It's absolutely true.

the3Rs
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Well...he's right. The real world can be a pretty harsh reality if you're not ready for it.
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Elyssa414
by Silver Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM
1 mom liked this
Lol! I kinda love it
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Cyn_
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Lol my teachers said that all the time
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saltyalley1227
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Lol sounds like the fight club speech.
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mollymae09
by Silver Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Sounds like my English teacher. I love the man dearly. He got you ready for the real world. People aren't going to hold your hand through life.
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GirlWithANikon
by Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:37 PM

good message bad timing?

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